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July 5, 2009
Tea Parties build on April success
Glenn Reynolds has a massive round up with many photos of the nationwide protests held yesterday. It appears that the 4th of July holiday may have cut into attendance a little but there were still hundreds of thousands of people who turned up at over 700 tea parties across the nation.
Patrik Jonsson of the Christian Science Monitor has a pretty balanced overview in an article entitled "A Political Powerhouse in the Making?"
The July 4 event will be the second major Taxed Enough Already (TEA) Party protest, following an April 15 event that drew as many as half a million people to over 800 separate protests across the country. This weekend's protests - sure to feature Colonial garb, witty signs ("Don't tax me, bro!"), and references to the Declaration of Independence - come amid rising concerns among Americans that the $787 billion stimulus package isn't doing much to restore the economy.
The movement has been panned by liberals and praised by conservatives. Libertarian blogger and law professor Glenn Reynolds says the protests represent "an energy that our politics hasn't seen lately."
The holiday weekend and the absence of Republican stars may reduce the size of the protests this time around. But the movement faces a bigger challenge - knitting a viable political coalition out of a geographically and ideologically dispersed community.
Numbers are hard to come by but judging by the pics on Reynolds site, there were several protests that outdid the ones last April. But the challenge for the movement is the same as it always has been, highlighted by the CSM quote above: how can conservatives draw on all this raw energy and make an impact on politics?
Perhaps publicizing and vocalizing people's concern will be enough for now.